Xavier Galindo is an actor and screenwriter that's motivated to tell the stories that others are afraid to even acknowledge. Xavier came to San Francisco from Peru in 1997 after his father successfully gained political asylum. He was forced to leave behind his mother who was only married to his father through the church and not Peru's government. Due to this, she wasn't afforded political asylum as well. After bumping heads with his father one too many times over house rules that he was not used to, Xavier's father told him to move out. For two years he lived with friends in a house full of other kids who were living in SF without parental guidance. During this time he continued to attend high school. Some time after graduation his mother was able to make the move to the U.S. and rejoin her family in San Francisco.
Following graduation, Xavier worked in health clinics for some time and had a second job at a local radio station "La Kalle". While at La Kalle he met a man named Edgar Cruz who was a promoter of latino parties in the bay area. Edgar presented Xavier with an opportunity to help him promote an event that he had coming up soon. After working with Edgar for some time, Xavier was looking to pick up the frequency of events. He found a space that was being underutilized in a relatively popular part of the city. He presented the venue as a potential event space, but Edgar wasn't interested. So with Edgar's blessing, Xavier ventured out on his own. He gathered together a bunch of his friends to assist him in marketing. He took what he learned in the little time working with Mr. Cruz and started what would become a franchise of the most sought after latin parties of the bay area, for years to come. How much money was he making? "After paying everyone, on average, I was making about $3,000." That's in one night, by the way.
This past January Xavier retired from the party scene to focus on a greater passion. He found himself at a crossroads and didn't see how he'd be able to continue organizing events as well as making his mark in the movie industry. Xavier got his start in acting almost by accident. He posted on Facebook that he was going to be working as staff to film a movie. A friend reached out to him to say that she is an actress and that she knows about an audition that he'd be perfect for. Xavier dressed the part, with no previous experience he went to the audition and landed it. The role was for the crime show "I Almost Got Away With It."
While studying at SFSU Xavier and a classmate Don Allen entered a contest to be considered for a national film festival hosted in LA. Their story was about one that hits close to home for Xavier; gentrification in the Tenderloin, San Francisco. Out of 120 films only 4 are selected and Xavier's was one of the them. In his short film Xavier is walking through the streets of the Tenderloin and witnesses a young guy, who was clearly not raised in the neighborhood, filming another man with his smartphone. What is the man being filmed doing? Shooting heroin. Xavier stops the guy from filming. Reminds him that this man who clearly has a problem is a human too and doesn't deserve to be objectified. He goes on to tell him that if you live in this city, everyone who does as well is part of your community and deserves respect. Check out how the film ends here. This film was Xavier's debut as a screenwriter and has fueled his desire to tell the stories that many others resist to acknowledge.
Xavier's future plans consist of doing more films, in front of and behind the camera. He plans to do more reporting of people doing interesting things and making people aware of important things that are going on. He's got a lot of stories to tell, some of his own and others of his friends. Short-films with social awareness is his current M.O. Check out some advice Xavier would give to young actors and screenwriters below and stream the full interview podcast.
"Don't be afraid to ask for collaboration with people you know. Having someone there to support you is the best thing that you can have. It takes a community, you can't do it on your own."
"Don't be intimidated."
"Don't give a f*ck man. As long as you are not harming anybody, as long as you are not offending anybody, don't give a f*ck. That's how I live my life man."
Check out some more of his short films and recordings: Amor for Alex, Chocolates Report, Lou's Prey and 520.